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(The Overthrow #1)

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  66 ratings  ·  29 reviews
The first book in bestselling author Kenneth Oppel’s new trilogy

It was just rain.

But after the downpour, odd black plants begin to shoot up.


They. Are. Everywhere.

They take over fields and twine around houses. They bloom and throw off toxic pollen—and feed.

Strangely, three Salt Spring Island teens seem immune. Anaya, Petra and Seth. What’s their connection? What’s
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published February 11th 2020 by HarperCollins (first published February 4th 2020)
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Average rating 4.21  · 
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 ·  66 ratings  ·  29 reviews

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“So, this must be the Miracle Three”
-Colonel Pearson, Bloom

I thoroughly enjoyed Bloom – The Overthrow #1 by Kenneth Oppel, it’s a solid sci-fi book with more than a touch of horror; it’s suspenseful, thrilling, and quite frankly, a bit terrifying in its potential. Strange and extremely sturdy and indestructible black plants begin growing at an unbelievably rapid rate after a heavy rain that covers the entire earth. People begin to have strong allergic reactions to the strange new pollen in the
Jan 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade, ya
I don't know why, but I have more kids looking for creepy stories this year than ever before. Tiffany Jackson, April Henry, Ronald Smith, Ellen Oh, and Kenneth Oppel's books to name a few are doing very well in my classroom. Like seeds in a garden, these stories are spreading like wild. With that in mind, when I heard that Kenneth Oppel was publishing a new series about alien plants taking over the Earth, I knew this was a series I had to check out. Oppel is a master at ratcheting up the ...more
Feb 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Guys. I don't know what to say. Kenneth Oppel has been a favorite author of mine for years. His stories have always captured me and I was so excited when I saw that he was coming out with another YA book. This was not what I expected it to be. It was better. I can't even describe the love I felt for this book. It's, like, one of the best apocalyptic books because it's more than that. It has odd characters who suffer from things and are so real. I just.... uhhhhh I'm having all the feels.
Laurie Hnatiuk
Dec 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thank you to the Harper Collins and author Kenneth Oppel for providing an ARC copy of Bloom to our #BookPortage group.

Canadian author Kenneth Oppel is going to score some major points with readers with the first of his latest trilogy The Overthrow #1 Bloom.

Set in Salt Spring Island in British Columbia, a typical rain appears to have triggered a strange and now life threatening event. Plants - thick, black vine-like plants are sprouting out everywhere and rapidly taking over land and fields. As
Beth Mendelsohn
Feb 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley-arc-s
I received this e-ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

After a rainstorm on the Canadian island of Salt Spring, strange black grass begins to grow. When cut down, it just grows back. Soon the black grass flowers and releases a pollen to which everyone seems to be allergic – everyone, that is, except three teenagers Anaya, Petra, and Seth who seem to have nothing in common. If that wasn’t bad enough, new types toxic and deadly plants are being found.
Jenny Ashby
Feb 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
After reading a review/synopsis of this latest from Oppel - a favorite author - I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. Luckily I was able to score an ARC of it and started reading about ten minutes later. And then I didn't stop for much of anything until I was done. I can see this being so popular with my students but it was tons of fun for me as well. Oppel surprised me several times throughout elevating this above just a typical thriller. The changes in the main characters added something I ...more
Dec 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thanks to the publisher and my friends in Book Portage for this copy to read and review. This book delivered exactly what I thought it would. A freaky beginning to an upper MG series in the vein of Kenneth Oppel's earlier novels The Nest and Airborn. I have been a big fan of many of Oppel's books and this has elements of many of them. Bloom launches right into the action with a flash forward scene that tells you how serious things might get. We head back to the beginning and strange plants are ...more
Amy Poirier
Jan 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Kenneth Oppel has outdone himself with Bloom! Think Cold Storage by David Koepp (but for kids) meets superhero origin story. It's fast-paced, fun and full of surprises. At no point did it feel like I was reading a middle school novel. Recommend!!!
Jan 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 9-12, contemporary, sci-fi
Wow I wasn’t expecting that! This book is like one continuous adrenaline shot that doesn’t stop until the last page. I was just going to read one chapter before bed but before I knew it I was halfway through the book.

I always felt that Kenneth Oppel’s books evoked a sort of visceral fear and intensity. This book in particular creates an apocalyptic scenario that would be terrifying if it were real, not just because of the concept but because of the speed at which the situation escalates. The
Shalon Sims
Jan 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Originally reviewed for

Anaya, Petra and Seth live on Salt Spring Island, a quirky Gulf Island in the Salish Sea, near Vancouver, BC, in Canada. These three teens endure your typical teenage trials such as body insecurity and social anxiety, along with uniquely Gulf Island-related tribulations like the need to dodge patchouli-scented body odour bombs and operate a chainsaw. Also, Petra’s allergic to water, Anaya has terrible acne, and Seth is in foster care. Nothing too
Tracy Robinson
Feb 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 rounded up to 4. I don’t normally read middle grade books, but I was intrigued by the premise of this one and decided to check it out. BLOOM is an eco-thriller/horror book that is sure to entertain upper middle grade readers. I can definitely see younger readers picking this up at a book fair or the library based on cover and synopsis alone.

For me, the book had a lot of “extra” details not necessarily overwritten, but times in which I just wanted things to GO instead of just adding more
Thank you to the Harper Collins and author Kenneth Oppel for providing an ARC copy of Bloom to our #BookPortage group. Bloom is now available for purchase.

Bloom is the first in a new trilogy by Canadian author Kenneth Oppel. Three special teens find themselves in the middle of a global invasion that they seem to have the power to change. What is special about Anaya, Petra, and Seth and can these three teens work together to save their community of Salt Spring Island and the world from being
Oct 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
I acquired an ARC of this book from work (one of the managers gets tons of them), so I don't know how it will compare to the "finished" book. However, I did really enjoy this story. The characters were interesting, though I personally feel they could have been developed a little better. Maybe they'll get more development in later books? However, I appreciated the involvement of the parents. These guys are all just teens, after all. The only character that didn't sit well with me was the General ...more
Feb 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Bloom follows the story of three teens as their small town -- and then the entire earth -- is overrun by a mysterious, aggressively spreading plant. Strange things start to happen as the plants continue to grow, but Anaya, Petra, and Seth don't seem to be negatively affected the way everyone else is. As they investigate, they find out more about how they relate to the strange plants and race to find a way to curb the invasion.

Although this is technically categorized as a middle grade book, the
Jan 03, 2020 rated it it was ok
Read an e-arc from NetGalley.
A huge storm sends rain and seeds. Petra, Anaya, and Seth are 3 kids who seem to be impervious to the effects of the plants, and, in fact, they each show some new aspects of their own. But the plants seem to be highly invasive all over the world, and an herbicide is needed to kill them.
It seemed like each time the kids seem to get ahead, they end up two steps back. Including the last sentence. It would be interesting to see the plot development of the kids, and what
Feb 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book was a fast read, I couldn't put the book down! There was almost non-stop action and I couldn't wait to see what happened next. I was drawn into the story right away from the first few pages. The premise was what drew me to the book initially, killer vines that erupt after a rainfall. The book takes place on a small island in British Colombia, and follows three teenagers as navigate these treacherous plants. I can't wait until the other books from this trilogy come out, I just need to ...more
Dec 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars

The premise of this sounded amazing! I don’t know why in the beginning it really gave me a Lord of the Flies vibe with the secluded island and vegetation. However, as the story began to deviate more from the main plot line it kind of lost me. It got a little too far fetched and what interested me the most, the crazy growing killer vines became less of the antagonist! However, the ending did make me a little happier with the story... Im a sucker for a cliffhanger! I would recommend it to
Dec 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received an ARC during a library conference last month. I only read it to see if it was appropriate for our middle school library. It's not a book I would have picked up on my own but I am so glad I did. Strange plants pop up overnight and they are almost impossible to cut down. People are also allergic to the plants, except three teenagers. Is this bioterrorism, aliens, or just a very aggressive invasive species? This book is action packed and I hope I will be able to acquire an ARC for the ...more
Patti Sabik
Dec 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This first book in a new science fiction trilogy called Overthrow, takes place on Salt Spring Island in British Columbia. After a heavy rain, foreign plants begin to grow and become predatory. Anaya, Seth and Petra who have strange body sensitivities are bonded together when they realize they are all immune to the plant’s toxicity. As the world tries to solve the mystery of this invasion an unearthly secret is also revealed about the children. A face paced suspenseful plot will have readers aged ...more
Alpha Selene
Feb 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Fast-paced with just the right amount of dystopic, scary, sci-fi elements to satisfy fans of Hunger Games, The Maze Runner or Legend with a few mythic details thrown in for good measure. No doubt this series will be a hit for ages 10 through 14. I can already see the screenplay being developed.
Feb 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: myrca
This is an amazingly good novel. I couldn’t believe all the twists and creepiness. I cant wait until the next book in the trilogy arrives.
Lilyn G. | Sci-Fi & Scary | "Empathy" - Look it up.
Holy crap.

Ho-ly cr-ap.

Review to come.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Netgalley for review consideration.
Nov 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020myrca
Review to follow
Dec 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“So, this must be the Miracle Three”
-Colonel Pearson, Bloom

I thoroughly enjoyed Bloom – The Overthrow #1 by Kenneth Oppel, it’s a solid sci-fi book with more than a touch of horror; it’s suspenseful, thrilling, and quite frankly, a bit terrifying in its potential. Strange and extremely sturdy and indestructible black plants begin growing at an unbelievably rapid rate after a heavy rain that covers the entire earth. People begin to have strong allergic reactions to the strange new pollen in the
Dec 10, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A bizarre black plant has started growing and Anaya's community has become very apprehensive. Anaya's strange allergies along with Petra's water allergy seem to be dissipating with the appearance of this plant. Anaya's and Petra's connection to these strange plants strengthens as the novel continues. They soon learn that they are immune to the dangers of these plants. They are then recruited to help save the planet from being overtaken by these plants.

I was pretty excited to read this book
Earc from netgalley.

This book is actually kind of terrifying, so don't read it in the middle of the night. But other than that, I really liked it, the writing was fantastic and made everything seem creepy and unsure. I saw this was a trilogy, so i will for sure be reading the next two books!
rated it it was amazing
Sep 26, 2019
Jennifer Ducharme
rated it liked it
Jan 21, 2020
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I was born in 1967 in Port Alberni, a mill town on Vancouver Island, British Columbia but spent the bulk of my childhood in Victoria, B.C. and on the opposite coast, in Halifax, Nova Scotia...At around twelve I decided I wanted to be a writer (this came after deciding I wanted to be a scientist, and then an architect). I started out writing sci-fi epics (my Star Wars phase) then went on to swords ...more

Other books in the series

The Overthrow (3 books)
  • Hatch (The Overthrow, #2)
  • Thrive
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